Data Science Masters

The following is a comparison of data science-related degree programs offered at the University of Washington:

Degree earned Master of Science in Information Management (MSIM) Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) Master of Human-Computer Interaction + Design (MHCI+D)
Career possibilities
  • Information Architect
  • User Experience Designer
  • Data Visualization Specialist
  • Systems Analyst
  • Data Scientist
  • Software Design Engineer
  • Risk Consultant
  • Web Computing Specialist
  • Network Administrator
  • Database Developer
  • Cybersecurity Professional
  • Project Manager
  • Reference Librarian
  • Youth Services Librarian
  • Academic Librarian
  • Archives and Special Collections Librarian
  • Library Director
  • Taxonomist
  • Information Architect
  • Content Strategist
  • Data Scientist
  • Health Information Specialist
  • User Experience Researcher
  • Law Librarian
  • User Experience Researcher
  • User Experience Designer
  • Usability Researcher
  • Interaction Designer
  • Product Designer
  • Developer
  • Prototyper
  • Project or Program Manager
  • User Experience Manager
Focus
  • Information and information technologies management
  • Core areas of strength in digital youth, knowledge organization, information services, data science, information architecture, and user experience
  • Choice of on-campus or online learning
  • Law Librarianship program for students with a JD
  • Usability and user research
  • Design of interactive computing technologies
  • Prototyping interactive digital systems
Capstone or thesis project
  • Full-Time 2-year:
    • Capstone project
    • Team-based project offers opportunity to work with outside sponsors
    • Student-directed
    • Research or design oriented
  • Full-Time 1-year and Mid-Career:
    • Practicum experiential learning
    • Either Capstone project, internship, faculty-sponsored research project, or other approved experiential learning project
  • Capstone project
  • Team-based project offers opportunity to work with outside sponsors
  • Student-directed
  • Team-based project offers opportunity to work with outside sponsors
  • Projects form the spine of studio work for first 3 quarters
  • Culminates in a full time studio during final summer quarter
Courses MSIM MLIS MHCI+D
Internship
  • Full-time: Recommended
  • Mid-career: Recommended
  • Elective
  • NA
Curriculum
  • Core courses plus specializations in:
    • Business Intelligence*
    • Data Science*
    • User Experience
    • Information Consulting
    • Information Architecture
    • Information Security*
  • Culminates in Capstone project or Experiential Learning (dependent on choice of MSIM program track)

*Offered in evening/weekend format

  • Core courses are foundational and theory-based
  • Electives focus on areas of interest
  • Culminates in Capstone project
  • Prescribed sequence of core courses
  • Electives from sponsoring departments and UW
  • Culminates in a Capstone project
Instructional style
  • Lectures and project-based courses
  • Lectures and project-based courses
  • Design studio, lectures, individual, and group projects
  • Tightly integrated, project-based curriculum
  • Sequenced schedule
Number of credits by course type
  • Core:
    • Full-Time (2 yr): 15
    • Full-Time (1 yr): 15
    • Mid-Career (1 yr): 12
  • Electives:
    • Full-Time (2 yr): 45
    • Full-Time (1 yr): 19
    • Mid-Career (1 yr): 24, or more if desired
  • Experiential Learning/ Captsone:
    • Full-Time (2 yr): 5
    • Full-Time (1 yr): 6
    • Mid-Career (1yr): optional
  • Residential and Online:
    • Core: 29
    • Electives: 29
    • Capstone: 5
  • Law: 43 credits
  • Core: 30
  • Electives: 7
  • Capstone Project: 9
Course scheduling
  • Full-time Core: Day;  Electives: Day, Evening, Saturday morning
  • Mid-career Core: Evening; Electives: Evenings and Saturday mornings
  • Primarily daytime and online
  • Primarily daytime
UW affiliationMSIMMLISMHCI+D
College / school / department / division
  • Information School (iSchool)
  • Information School (iSchool)
  • Graduate School interdisciplinary program
  • Jointly sponsored by the Information School, Computer Science and Engineering and HCDE (College of Engineering), and Art, Art History + Design (College of Arts & Sciences)
Faculty
  • Dedicated iSchool faculty plus external industry lecturers
  • Dedicated iSchool faculty plus external industry lecturers
  • Interdisciplinary faculty from CSE, HCDE, iSchool, division of Design, plus external industry lecturers
Facilities
  • iSchool classrooms
  • Shared computing labs
  • Group work spaces
  • iSchool classrooms
  • Shared computing labs
  • Group work spaces
  • Dedicated design studio for the cohort
Contacts
  • Sean McGann, MSIM Program Chair
  • Shasta Jennings, MSIM Academic Adviser
  • Kari Brothers, iSchool Admissions Counselor
  • iask@uw.edu
  • Program website
  • Michelle Martin, MLIS Program Chair
  • Joe Eckert, MLIS Academic Adviser
  • Kari Brothers, iSchool Admissions Counselor
  • iask@uw.edu
  • Program website
Time and money MSIM MLIS MHCI+D
Duration
  • Full-time: 2 years or 1 year
  • Mid-career: 1-2 years (Fri./Sat. courses)
  • Residential: 2 years
  • Online: 2.5-3 years
  • Law: 1 year
  • 1 year (4 quarters), full-time, immersive experience
  • Students are members of a cohort of peers
Option for full-time work while in school
  • Full-time: No
  • Mid-career: Yes
  • Residential: No
  • Online: Yes
  • Law: No
  • No
Application deadline
  • Full-time MSIM: Jan. 15
  • Mid-career MSIM: Incremental deadlines

All offers of admission are for Autumn quarter only.

  • Early decision: December 1
  • Priority deadline: February 1

All offers of admission are for Autumn quarter only.

  • January 15

All offers of admission are for Autumn quarter only.

Number of students enrolled annually
  • Full-time 2-year: 70-75
  • Full-time 1-year: 35
  • Mid-career: 35
  • Residential and Law: 70-75
  • Online: 75-80
  • 30-40
Required number of credits
  • Full-time: 65 (2-year), 40 (1-year)
  • Mid-career: 36
  • Residential: 63
  • Online: 63
  • Law: 43
  • 46
Approximate total tuition (subject to change and total credits taken)
  • Full-time: $52,585 (2-year), $32,360 (1-year)
  • Mid-career: $29,124
  • $809/credit (both programs)
  • Residential and Online: $49,455
  • Law: $33,755
  • $785 / credit
  • $47,610
  • $1,035/credit
Financial aid, Funding and Assistantships
  • All applicants are eligible to receive a limited number of iSchool merit-based scholarships.
  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA in order to receive federal loans.
  • The iSchool typically hires 2-3 graduate assistants (GAs) each year.
  • Occasionally tuition may be reduced through fellowships and teaching/research assistantships, which are offered by individual departments based on merit.
  • All applicants are eligible to receive a limited number of iSchool merit-based scholarships.
  • U.S. citizens and permanent residents are encouraged to fill out the FAFSA in order to receive federal loans.
  • The iSchool typically hires 2-3 graduate assistants (GAs) each year.
  • Occasionally tuition may be reduced through fellowships and teaching/research assistantships, which are offered by individual departments based on merit.
  • Occasionally tuition may be reduced through fellowships and teaching/research assistantships, which are offered by individual departments based on merit.
Degree earned Master of Science in Human Centered Design & Engineering (HCDE) Master of Science in Information Systems (MSIS)
Career possibilities
  • User Experience Designer
  • User Researcher
  • Information Architect
  • Interaction Designer
  • Product Designer
  • Product Manager
  • User Interface Developer
  • Web Developer
  • Business Analyst
  • IT Project Manager
  • IT Consultant
  • Business Analyst
  • Information Security Professional
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Data Analyst
  • Design and Integration Specialist
  • Systems Analyst
  • Business Intelligence Consultant
  • Software Engineer
Focus
  • User-centered research and design
  • Use of communication, design, and visualization methods
  • Design and prototyping of interactive products, services, platforms, and systems
  • Applies to all domains, including technology and engineering
  • Management of information technologies to solve complex business problems and take advantage of new business opportunities
Capstone or thesis project
  • Capstone project
  • Team-based project offers opportunity to work with outside sponsors
  • Student-driven format and topic
  • 1 credit planning course followed by a 4 credit studio course
  • NA
Internship
  • Elective
  • NA
Courses HCDE MSIS
Curriculum
  • Individualized program
  • Select core courses and electives in three specialized content areas:
    • Research
    • Design
    • Engineering
  • Culminates in a Capstone project
  • Lockstep curriculum
  • Topics include data analysis, information security, data mining, and IT project management
Instructional style
  • Project-based, lecture, and studio courses
  • Core courses in sequenced format
  • Flexible elective schedule
  • Lecture, case study, and project based classes
Number of credits by course type
  • Core: 22
  • Electives: 26
  • Core: 40
  • Electives: 4
Course scheduling
  • Primarily evening
  • Each course meets one night/week
  • Full-time or part-time students studying in the evening
  • Monday and Wednesday evening and Saturday daytime
UW affiliation HCDE MSIS
College / school / department / division
  • College of Engineering
  • Department of Human-Centered Design and Engineering (HCDE)
  • Students earn Engineering/STEM degree with OPT extension
  • Foster School of Business
Faculty
  • Interdisciplinary tenure track HCDE faculty plus outside industry lecturers
  • Dedicated Business School faculty plus external industry lecturers
Facilities
  • Design Lab with shared access for all HCDE students
  • UW campus classrooms
  • Foster Business Library
  • Group work spaces
Contacts
Time and money HCDE MSIS
Duration
  • Self-paced, 2-3 academic years
  • Full-time and part-time students; many are working professionals
  • 12 months
Option for full-time work while in school
  • Yes
  • Yes
Application deadline
  • January 15
  • February 1
Number of students enrolled annually
  • 100
  • Up to 90
Required number of credits
  • 48
  • 44
Approximate total tuition (subject to change and total credits taken)
  • $40,000
  • $796/credit
  • $38,000
  • Quarterly Tuition: $9,500
Financial aid, Funding and Assistantships
  • Occasionally tuition may be reduced through teaching/research assistantships, which are offered by individual departments based on merit.
  • Occasionally tuition may be reduced through fellowships and teaching/research assistantships, which are offered by individual departments based on merit.

Limited scholarships are available and are largely based on need and merit.